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Endocrine

pp 1–7 | Cite as

Evaluation of testicular function in prepubertal children

  • Rosita A. Condorelli
  • Rossella Cannarella
  • Aldo E. Calogero
  • Sandro La Vignera
Review
  • 27 Downloads

Abstract

Introduction

The assessment of testicular function is not currently performed in childhood. The aim of this review was to address the usefulness of serum Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH), inhibin B, and testicular volume (TV) evaluation in children.

Review

Serum AMH and inhibin B levels reflect Sertoli cells (SCs) health and number, SCs maturation degree and their exposure to FSH and to intra-tubular testosterone (T). These hormones might be helpful in discriminating between congenital central hypogonadism (cHH) and constitutional delay in growth and puberty (CDGP) and in case of clinical suspicious of precocious puberty. Furthermore, low AMH and/or inhibin B levels have been observed in children with primary testicular disorders, suggesting the existence of SC dysfunction. TV also provides useful information on testicular health. Recently, a medical calculator, requiring testis length and the stage of genital development, has been developed to easily derive TV.

Conclusions

The evidence supports the usefulness of AMH, inhibin B and TV evaluation for the early diagnosis of puberty disorders and primary testicular damage. We suggest the measurement of TV by using the medical calculator in all children and to reserve AMH and inhibin B measurements to those cases of no testicular growth, clinical suspicious of puberty disorders or in children at risk for spermatogenesis damage. This work-up might allow the early detection of testicular tubular damage which, in turn, may be useful to prevent the oncoming male infertility in adulthood.

Keywords

AMH Anti-Müllerian hormone Inhibin B Sertoli cells Pre-pubertal children Testicular function 

Abbreviations

AMH

Anti-Müllerian hormone

cHH

congenital hypogonadotropichypogonadism

FSH

Follicle-stimulating hormone

GnRH

Gonadotropin-realizing hormone

GnRHa

Gonadotropin-realizing hormone antagonist

LH

luteinizing hormone

SCs

Sertoli cells

T

Testosterone

TDP

Testicular distance to pubic bone

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosita A. Condorelli
    • 1
  • Rossella Cannarella
    • 1
  • Aldo E. Calogero
    • 1
  • Sandro La Vignera
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of Catania, Policlinico “G. Rodolico”CataniaItaly

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